By Renee Meyer
John shares promise after promise from the mouth of Jesus in the 14th chapter of his account of the life of our Lord. As His death approaches, Jesus leaves His followers (including you and me!) with one precious assurance after another.
Leading off with “Don’t worry, you can trust your Father and you can trust Me,” Jesus in John 14 gives us so much to hold onto through life’s ups and downs:
- There’s more than enough room in my Father’s house, and there is a place for YOU. (John 14:2)
- I am making a place where we can be together, forever. (John 14:3)
- I am the way, the truth and the life. (John 14:6)
- Anyone who believes in me will do the same works I have done, and even greater. (John 14:12)
- Ask for anything in my name, and I will do it, so that the Son can bring glory to the Father. (John 14:13)
And what may be His most precious promise of all,
- I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate, who will never leave you. He is the Holy Spirit, who leads into all truth. (John 14:16-17)
This promise is so good, Jesus repeats it later in the chapter.
- But when the Father sends . . . the Holy Spirit—he will teach you everything and will remind you of everything I have told you. I am leaving you with a gift—peace of mind and heart. (John 14:26-27)
If John 14 were all we knew of God, it would be enough. Enough for our yesterdays, our today and all our tomorrows.
Nestled in the middle of these precious commitments, we find a statement that I’ve never read as a promise, but I’m experimenting with thinking of it in new ways:
Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father!
Philip interrupts Jesus’ flow of promises to ask Jesus, “Lord, show us the Father, and we will be satisfied.”
Jesus replied, “Have I been with you all this time, Philip, and yet you still don’t know who I am? Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father! So why are you asking me to show him to you? Don’t you believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me? The words I speak are not my own, but my Father who lives in me does his work through me. (John 14:9-10)
Praise God for Philip, reminding us that we’re not alone in our tendency to entirely miss the point of Jesus.
Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father. The Message translates it, “To see me is to see the Father.”
Paul echoes this truth, assuring us that “Christ is the visible image of the invisible God.” (Colossians 1:15)
The writer of Hebrews agrees: “The Son radiates God’s own glory and expresses the very character of God, and he sustains everything by the mighty power of his command.” (Hebrews 1:3)
I have friends who struggle with their view of God, having been raised with an implicit or explicit picture of God as perpetually angry and disappointed in them.
I myself find some of the stories and pictures of God in the Bible extremely uncomfortable. How do you trust a God who responded to world-wide sin with a world-wide flood? Is that the God who loves me?
Real life can easily puncture our faith with unanswered prayers, global conflict, an unsure future, hunger, racial violence, abuse, a world of injustice and a seemingly silent God. This is the world a loving God created?
Many hard things for people of faith boil down to the question, “What is God really like?” Does He really care, is He really present, do I actually matter, to Him or to anyone?
Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father.
I’m experimenting with receiving this statement as a promise. I take my questions and my confusion to Jesus, and I imagine Him looking in my eyes and saying, “Renee, to see Me is to see the Father.”
If I want to know what my heavenly Father looks like, what He thinks of me, of humanity, I look to Jesus. When I want to know if God is really present, if I matter, if God cares, I look to Jesus. I look to the four glorious gospel accounts of His life, His actions, His choices, His words.
I let Jesus be the lens through which I see the world. I let Jesus be the filter through which I understand God.
I ask Jesus, what does God my Father think of me? And I hear Him answer:
There’s more than enough room in my Father’s house, and there is a place for YOU. I am making a place where we can be together, forever.
I am the way, the truth and the life.
Anyone who believes in me will do the same works I have done, and even greater. Ask for anything in my name, and I will do it, so that the Son can bring glory to the Father.
I have left you with an Advocate who will never leave you. He is the Holy Spirit, who leads into all truth. The Holy Spirit will teach you everything and will remind you of everything I have told you.
I am leaving you with a gift—peace of mind and heart.
Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father. Thank you, Jesus.